Kids can certainly put an extra oomph into a pro wrestling angle or plotline. Part of that reality is that children more readily identify with heroes and villains, and, in some cases, kids may also not fully grasp that wrestling is worked.
The young girl whose scowl burned into the memories of fans when the Miz beat Randy Orton for the WWE Heavyweight Title – you know, the “angry Miz girl” – made the strap switch that much more juicy.
Watching Miz take the girl’s Slammy trophy from her on a Monday Night Raw was priceless, and reminded me of another shady skit from the 1980s that involved the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase.
DiBiase played to perfection the part of a tycoon who loved to flaunt his money. During his introduction into the WWF in 1987, DiBiase would prove his point that “everybody’s got a price” by making people do humiliating or challenging activities in order to earn a few Benjamins.
Perhaps the most famous of these challenges was when DiBiase asked a young boy to dribble a basketball 15 times in order to win $500. At about 13 or 14 dribbles, DiBiase kicked the basketball off the stage with a “Whoops!” and said the kid didn’t earn the money. I still hear older fans today occasionally bring up this fantastic skit.
An antagonist picking on a little kid can go a lot further in wrestling than elaborate angles, as DiBiase and the Miz know.